|Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2013|
|To abolish the Seanad, the upper house of the Oireachtas|
|Date||4 October 2013|
The Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013 was a proposal to amend the Constitution of Ireland to abolish Seanad Éireann, the upper house of the Irish parliament, the Oireachtas. The proposal was rejected by the electorate in a referendum on 4 October 2013 by 51.7% voting against to 48.3% in favour.
The bill completed its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas on 23 July 2013. Had it been approved, the Seanad would have ceased to exist after the following Irish general election, leaving Dáil Éireann as the sole house of the Oireachtas.
Because the Thirty-third Amendment was passed on the same day, there is no "Thirty-second Amendment".
The Seanad is a much weaker chamber than the Dáil. The government usually has a majority in the Seanad, which has not rejected a bill passed by the Dáil since 1964. Debate on the Seanad's future has focused on whether it would be better to reform it (with or without constitutional amendment) or to abolish it altogether. In October 2009, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny stated that it was his intention that a Fine Gael government would abolish the Seanad, and along with reducing the number of TDs by 20, it would "save an estimated €150m over the term of a Dáil." This contrasted with a speech he had made in July 2009 arguing for reform rather than abolition of the Seanad. In August 2013, a pro-Seanad advocate alleged that Kenny's change was spurred by a "secret report" from party advisers; Fine Gael responded that the document in question had been published in March 2010.
In the 2011 election campaign, Labour and Sinn Féin also promised to abolish the Seanad, while Fianna Fáil supported a referendum on the issue. The programme of the Fine Gael–Labour coalition, which came to power at the election, promised to abolish the Seanad as part of a broader programme of constitutional reform.
Fine Gael's 2011 election manifesto pledged to have a referendum to abolish the Seanad within 12 months of taking office; as Taoiseach in 2012, Enda Kenny attributed the delay in introducing the bill to the complexity of the changes required. The bill as introduced makes 40 changes to the text of the Constitution. As well as deleting references to the Seanad, the amendment had to insert transitional provisions to explicitly abolish it. These were required to allow for the delay between the time the amendment became law, expected to be autumn 2013, and the time the abolition was to take effect at the next election, which might not have been until 2016.
The bill was discussed at cabinet in early May 2013, and on 5 June approved by cabinet, though minister Joan Burton said they had not reviewed the bill in detail. The bill was published that evening at a press conference at which Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore both spoke. The government also promised changes to the structure of Oireachtas committees and standing orders for discussing bills, additional to those necessitated by Seanad abolition.
The bill's second reading in the Dáil began on 13 June 2013, and it passed all stages there on 25 June. The Dáil then passed a resolution on the wording of the ballot paper question. The bill was introduced in the Seanad the next day, and passed its final stage there on 23 July, by 33 votes to 25. Two Senators nominated by the Taoiseach voted against the bill, while the two Fine Gael Senators who had lost the whip the previous week for opposing the government's Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 voted with the government.
If the bill had become law, it would have immediately inserted a new transitional Article 19A into the Constitution. Article 19A provided that on the day before the first sitting of the new Dáil after the next general election, a range of other changes to the Constitution would have been triggered. These are listed in three separate schedules to the bill.
|Bill[n 1]||Articles[n 2]||Duration||Substance||Date of effect|
|1||19A||Transitional||Sets the trigger for the later changes.||Date of enactment|
|2||15.1.2°||Permanent||Defines the Oireachtas to consist of the President and the Dáil.||Day before new Dáil meets|
||Permanent||The deletion of Articles which provide for the election and appointment of members to the Seanad, its powers, procedures for resolving disagreements between the two houses, and consequential changes||Day before new Dáil meets|
|4||50A||Transitional||Business in progress in the bicameral Oireachtas at the time of its dissolution will lapse, but may be revived by the Dáil afterwards; business complete except for action by the President will not lapse.||Day before new Dáil meets|
- Number of section and schedule within the amendment bill
- Number of affected article or section of article within Constitution; inserted / changed /
The two transitional articles would not have been printed in official versions of the Constitution after the date of abolition; this emulates the handling of the 1937 transitional articles by which the current Irish state succeeded the Irish Free State.
Articles and sections which describe the Seanad or the relationship between the two Houses would have been deleted; later sections of an Article would have been renumbered to fill the gaps of deleted sections, but later Articles would not have been renumbered. Articles 53 and 55 are spent transitory provisions from the Oireachtas of the Irish Free State, removed since they related to the post-1937 Seanad.
Many other consequential changes involved the replacement of "[either/both] House[s] of the Oireachtas" with "Dáil Éireann". Some changes were less mechanical:
- Nomination of a Presidential election candidate would have required 14 rather than 20 Oireachtas members. This reflected the reduction in the number of Oireachtas members from 226 (60 Senators plus 166 TDs) to 158 (all TDs, whose number is to be reduced by a separate Act).
- Impeachment of a President would have required an absolute majority of four-fifths of the Dáil rather than of two-thirds of each house.
- Removal of a High or Supreme Court judge, or the Comptroller and Auditor General would have required an absolute majority of two-thirds of the Dáil instead of a simple majority of both houses. The Constitution does not mention the lower courts, but their judges' tenure is the same under statute law and so would have changed likewise.
- The Leas-Cheann Comhairle of the Dáil would have replaced the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad on the Presidential Commission and the Council of State. A further two TDs would have been nominated as substitutes for the Ceann Comhairle and Leas-Cheann Comhairle in the event that the Ceann Comhairle or Leas-Cheann Comhairle were unavailable.
- The Ceann Comhairle's opinion on whether a bill is a money bill would have been definitive unless the Dáil resolved otherwise. The only remaining significance of money bills would have been that they couldn't have been referred to the Supreme Court by the President under Article 26. At present the designation also limits the Seanad's power to oppose such bills; and if the Seanad disagrees with the Ceann Comhairle's designation, the question may be referred by the President to a committee of privileges chaired by a judge.
- A request for the President to sign a bill urgently would have required the concurrence of the Dáil rather than the Seanad.
- The ordinary referendum would have been abolished. At present such a referendum can only be called if a bill is rejected by the Seanad.
Positions in the debate
Arguments in favour of the bill included: that abolition would save money; that the number of legislators is too large relative to the state's population; that the method of selection is elitist and undemocratic; and that the Seanad is a powerless rubber-stamp. In an opinion poll for The Irish Times the week before the referendum, the reasons given by prospective yes-voters were: cost (43%), lack of power (16%), superfluity (14%), to reduce the number of politicians (8%) and lack of democratic election (5%).
Abolition was supported by Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Féin, and the Socialist Party. Although Sinn Féin opposed the bill in the Oireachtas and argued that the Seanad's future should be discussed by the Constitutional Convention, it announced in late July that it was supporting abolition as the Seanad was "elite and out of touch".
A non-party pro-abolition group called "One House" launched its campaign on 2 September 2013. Opponents alleged that the participation of its head, Kieran Mulvey, compromised his professional position as chairman of the Labour Relations Commission.
The Fine Gael campaign claimed that the annual net saving to taxpayers of abolishing the Seanad would be €20m, a figure disputed by opponents. The Referendum Commission wrote to the Oireachtas finance officer, who put the annual cost of the Seanad at €8.8m in pay and expenses for Senators and their personal staff; €9.3m in support and infrastructure; and €2m in pensions. The officer said that it was not possible to estimate how much of this cost would be saved by abolishing the Seanad.
Arguments opposing the bill included: that a No-vote will create a mandate for reform of the Seanad; that the process of legislation needs greater scrutiny; that most Westminster system countries have bicameral legislatures; and that the Irish financial crisis shows a need for more governance. In an opinion poll for The Irish Times the week before the referendum, the reasons given by prospective no-voters were: as a check on the government (54%), because they disliked the government (20%), and because they did not believe there would be significant cost savings (6%[n 1]).
Fianna Fáil stated that it opposed abolition and instead supported reform of the Seanad. The Green Party opposed abolition as concentrating power in a "smaller political circle". On 25 September 2013 the Reform Alliance, of Oireachtas members expelled from Fine Gael for opposing the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, called for a No-vote. The Workers' Party of Ireland characterised the bill as "a power grab by the kitchen cabinet within the cabinet".
Independent members of the Seanad were opposed to its abolition. In 2012, Michael McDowell, Joe O'Toole, Noel Whelan, Feargal Quinn and Katherine Zappone published a 30-page blueprint for reform of the Seanad, with the slogan "Open it, don't close it", which was discussed in the Seanad. They formed the "Seanad Reform Group", which in May 2013 became "Democracy Matters", to lobby against abolition. In 2013, two groups of Senators and one group of TDs each introduced a separate bill proposing to reform the Seanad by replacing the restricted-franchise Vocational panel elections with general-franchise elections. Several former Taoiseach-nominated senators from Northern Ireland endorsed the opportunity the Seanad provided for cross-border input to the state's politics.
Several TDs from the governing Labour Party, including its chief whip Emmet Stagg, said that they would vote against abolition in the referendum, while supporting the bill in the Oireachtas. The Union of Students in Ireland campaigned for a no vote.
Commentators including Vincent Browne suggested that Enda Kenny's 2009 announcement of his intention to abolish the Seanad was a U-turn from his position of several months earlier, and an impulsive publicity stunt announced without consulting any party colleagues.
Breda O'Brien suggested voters should tick the "No" box on the ballot and also write the word "Reform" on it; a suggestion endorsed by Fintan O'Toole despite the risk of thereby spoiling the ballot. Both columnists characterised the government's putative reform of Dáil procedures as a charade to disguise a migration of power from the legislature to the cabinet and the Economic Management Council.
Course of the referendum campaign
The Referendum Commission was established by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government on 6 June 2012, with High Court judge Elizabeth Dunne as chair. While such a Commission was required by law to supervise any referendum, previous Commissions had not been established prior to the successful passage through the Oireachtas of the relevant amendment bill. The earlier establishment in this case was in response to complaints that previous referendum campaigns had been too short to enable the electorate to form a considered opinion.
A small team of officials from the Department of the Taoiseach assisted the government's campaign to have the bill passed. In the event of the bill's receiving majority approval in the referendum, this team would have remained in place to plan consequent changes to statute law to remove from it all references to the Seanad. These changes would have needed to be in place before a new Dáil met following the next general election.
After the bill was passed by the Seanad on 23 July 2013, a tweet from Fine Gael stated that the date of the referendum would be 4 October. There was criticism of the manner of the announcement, and the government denied later that evening that a formal decision on the date had been made. The next day, the Local Government Minister Phil Hogan made the necessary order establishing 4 October as the date for the referendum on the Seanad bill, and for a separate referendum on another Constitutional amendment to establish a Court of Appeal.
The Fine Gael "yes" vote campaign was headed by minister Richard Bruton, assisted by first-term TD Regina Doherty, who described the Seanad as "shockingly undemocratic" at the press conference launching the campaign. David Norris stated in the Seanad, "I object in the strongest possible way to the idea that someone who has spent years in the House should have to listen to the Regina monologue from someone who has not been a wet weekend in the Oireachtas and is talking through her fanny." He later withdrew the remarks, calling them "intemperate".
The Seanad was recalled early from its summer recess on 20 August 2013, after a petition by Senator Mark Daly of Fianna Fáil secured the support of the necessary twenty senators. The recall was to discuss annulling a 2012 statutory instrument implementing a 2010 EU directive on organ donation. The rarely used power of annulment requires resolutions by both Houses. A petition to recall the Dáil was unsuccessful, and Fine Gael accused Daly of an expensive and ineffectual publicity stunt relating to the Seanad abolition campaign.
Some government members suggested that if the abolition amendment were to be rejected at the referendum, then the government would consider proposals for reform of the Seanad instead. Others pointed out that reform was not an option listed on the ballot paper. On 20 September, when Micheál Martin asked in leader's questions whether the Taoiseach would reform the Seanad if the referendum were defeated, his response was, "Deputy Martin will not walk me down that avenue." On 23 September, Richard Bruton said there were no plans to reform the Seanad if the referendum were defeated.
In the Dáil on 24 September, Martin questioned the role of civil servants in the referendum campaign, and invited Kenny to a public debate on the question of abolition. RTÉ offered to stage a debate on Prime Time on 1 October 2013, three days before the referendum. While Kenny decided not to take part, Richard Bruton agreed to participate. The debate was moderated by Miriam O'Callaghan.
The Sunday Independent on 29 September reported that Fine Gael had been limiting media access to Enda Kenny, and had singled out high-profile Independent senators Feargal Quinn and John Crown to criticise their attendance.
Harry McGee of The Irish Times suggested that voter turnout would be low, with middle-class graduates with a vote in the Seanad university constituencies more likely both to vote and to vote No, and that Sinn Féin's campaign could be crucial for the Yes side.
Some opinion polls asked specifically how respondents would vote in the referendum on the 2013 bill; others asked a more general question on whether respondents felt the Seanad should be abolished, "reformed", or retained unchanged. This includes polls taken after the programme for government in 2011 which announced the plan to abolish the Seanad, but before the bill to effect this was published in 2013.
|Date||Source||Polling agency||Sample size||Yes||No||Undecided||Ref|
|27–28 September 2013||The Irish Times||Ipsos MRBI||1,000||44%||27%||29%[t 1]|||
|28 September 2013||Sunday Independent||Millward Brown||998||37%||20%||42%[t 2]|||
|10–17 September 2013||Sunday Times||Behaviour & Attitudes||934||49%||33%||18%[t 3]|||
|9–11 September 2013||Sunday Business Post||Red C||>1,000||50%||35%||15%|||
|5–7 August 2013||Paddy Power||Red C||1,002||49%||36%||15%|||
|15 June 2013||The Irish Times||Ipsos/MRBI||1,000||55%||21%||24%|||
|13 June 2013||Paddy Power||Red C||?||52%||34%||14%|||
|November 2012||The Irish Times||Ipsos/MRBI||?||55%||22%||23%|||
- 21% don't know; 8% won't vote
- 32% don't know; 10% won't vote
- 15% don't know; 3% won't vote
|Date||Source||Polling agency||Sample size||Abolish||Reform||Keep as is||Undecided||Ref|
|late August 2013||Sunday Independent||Millward Brown||?||39%||33%||7%||21%|||
|3–12 August 2013||Sunday Independent||Millward Brown||985||37%||33%||7%||23%|||
|7 July 2013||Sunday Independent||Millward Brown||?||43%||30%||5%||22%|||
|December 2012||Sunday Independent||Millward Brown||?||53%||30%||7%||10%|||
|June 2011||Sunday Independent||Millward Brown||?||55%||30%||7%||8%|||
Dublin City Council apologised after using an out-of-date electoral register file to generate polling information cards; this resulted in 35,000 voters and deceased people receiving incorrect information about where to vote. Cards were regenerated using the correct data.
|Invalid or blank votes||14,355||1.16|
|Registered voters and turnout||3,167,484||39.17|
|Constituency||Electorate||Turnout (%)||Votes||Proportion of votes|
|Kerry North–West Limerick||61,998||37.1%||12,205||10,465||53.8%||46.2%|
- 4% "didn’t believe the alleged savings"; 2% "the savings were not significant"
- MacCarthaigh, Muiris; Martin, Shane (2015). "Bicameralism in the Republic of Ireland: The Seanad Abolition Referendum". Irish Political Studies. 30 (1): 121–131. doi:10.1080/07907184.2014.981534. ISSN 0790-7184.
- "Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013". Bills 1992–2013. Oireachtas. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
- Burke Kennedy, Eoin (5 June 2013). "Government publishes Seanad abolition referendum details". The Irish Times. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- McGee, Harry; Carroll, Steven (5 October 2013). "Seanad to be retained after Government loses referendum". Irish Times. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Coakley, John; Gallagher, Michael (12 December 2012). "Parliament". Politics in the Republic of Ireland. Routledge. p. 203. ISBN 9781134737208. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- Russell, M (1999). "A Vocational Upper House?: Lessons from Ireland". Constitution Unit Publications. London, UK.: The Constitution Unit, School of Public Policy, UCL (36).
- Laver, Michael (2002). "The Role and Future of the Upper House in Ireland". The Journal of Legislative Studies. 8 (3): 49–66. doi:10.1080/714003929. ISSN 1357-2334.
- "Kenny: FG would slash TD numbers, abolish Seanad". BreakingNews.ie. 17 October 2009.
- O'Connell, Hugh (19 August 2013). "Fine Gael: There's no 'secret report' which convinced Taoiseach to abolish Seanad". thejournal.ie. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Labour calls for Seanad to be abolished". RTÉ News. 4 January 2011.
- "Government lagging behind public on Seanad abolition — Doherty". Sinn Féin. 3 January 2011.
- "Fianna Fáil U-turn on Seanad looks to have sealed fate of Upper House". The Irish Times. 3 January 2011.
- "Programme for Government" (PDF). Fine Gael. March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- "Ceisteanna — Questions (Resumed) - Constitutional Amendments". Dáil Éireann debates. 14 February 2013. pp. Vol.755 No.2 p.11. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- McGee, Harry (7 May 2013). "Bill triggering Seanad abolition poll expected within weeks". The Irish Times. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Donnelly, Aedín (6 June 2013). "Government hasn't discussed Seanad abolition - Minister". Newstalk. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Proposals for 32nd Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013". MerrionStreet.ie. Irish Government. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Beesley, Arthur (6 June 2013). "Referendum campaign to scrap Seanad begins". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013: Second Stage". Dáil Debates. 13 June 2013. p. unrevised. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013: Committee and Remaining Stages (Continued)". Dáil Éireann debates. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "Statement for the Information of Voters in relation to the Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013: Motion". Dáil Éireann debates. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013: Second Stage". Seanad Éireann debates. 26 June 2013. pp. Unrevised, p.10. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- O'Halloran, Marie; Michael O'Regan, Genevieve Carbery (23 July 2013). "Seanad votes to hold referendum on its abolition". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Explanatory memorandum to bill as initiated" (PDF). THIRTY-SECOND AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION (ABOLITION OF SEANAD ÉIREANN) BILL 2013. Oireachtas. 6 June 2013. pp. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2013". Irish Statute Book. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "Removal from Judicial Office". Association of Judges of Ireland. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "Know Your Referendums" (PDF). The Irish Times. 28 September 2013. pp. 3 (Weekend Review). Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- Beesley, Arthur (30 September 2013). "Seanad referendum set to pass on cost argument". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- Brennan, Michael (31 August 2013). "Tuffy defies Labour in campaign to save Seanad". Irish Independent. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- O'Connell, Hugh (26 July 2013). "Sinn Féin is supporting the abolition of the 'elite and out of touch' Seanad". thejournal.ie. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- Carolan, Mary (24 September 2013). "FF and McDowell accused of 'hypocrisy' over No stance in Seanad referendum". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- "Ireland has too many politicians - says Taoiseach". Irish Examiner. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Collins, Stephen (2 September 2013). "Debate heats up ahead of Seanad referendum". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "One House". One House. 2013. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Beesley, Arthur (3 September 2013). "LRC chief defends move to chair an anti-Seanad group". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- O'Malley, Des (24 September 2013). "Let's get rid of the sideshow that is the Seanad and focus on what matters". The Irish Times.
- "Not possible to estimate Seanad abolition savings - Oireachtas official". RTÉ.ie. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- Long, Gina (18 September 2013). "Letter to David Waddell" (PDF). Referendum Commission. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Sheahan, Fionnan (21 September 2013). "Doubts cast on €20m Seanad savings claim". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- Brennan, Michael (5 September 2013). "Green party warns abolishing Seanad would concentrate power in 'smaller political circle'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Sheahan, Fionnan (25 September 2013). "Fine Gael rebels call for No vote". Irish Independent. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- "Defend Democracy, Vote No to abolition of Seanad". Workers' Party of Ireland. 9 September 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Michael McDowell, Joe O'Toole, Noel Whelan, Feargal Quinn and Katherine Zappone (26 September 2012). "Radical seanad reform through legislative change" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "Radical Seanad Reform Through Legislative Change: Statements". Seanad Éireann debates. Oireachtas. 3 October 2012. pp. Vol. 217 No. 7 p.28. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "About us". Democracy Matters. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Seanad Electoral Reform Bill 2013 (Number 21 of 2013)". Oireachtas. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Seanad, Bill 2013 (Number 49 of 2013)". Oireachtas. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Seanad (No. 2) Bill 2013 (Number 59 of 2013)". Oireachtas. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Flanagan, Eimear (3 October 2013). "Seanad vote: Threat to 'northern input in southern politics'". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Kelly, Fiach (6 June 2013). "Labour TDs vow to scupper Kenny Seanad abolition bid". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- O'Dowd, John Alexander (11 September 2013). "USI to launch 'No' vote campaign". Newstalk. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- O'Connor, Niall (6 June 2013). "Coveney denies Kenny made a Seanad U-turn - Herald.ie". Evening Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- Browne, Vincent (17 July 2013). "Cynical Seanad abolition stunt must not be rewarded". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- O'Brien, Breda (29 September 2013). "If you want to see political reform, write it in on your ballot paper". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- O'Toole, Fintan (1 October 2013). "Say No to Seanad abolition and the Coalition's reform charade". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- "New Referendum Commission Established" (Press release). Referendum Commission. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- McGee, Harry (13 June 2013). "New referendum commission will have long lead-in time for poll on Seanad". The Irish Times. p. 7. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed) Seanad Referendum". Dáil Éireann debates. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "Referendum on Abolition of Seanad and Court of Appeal to be held on Friday 4th October". MerrionStreet.ie. Government of Ireland. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- O'Connell, Hugh (15 July 2013). "Video: David Norris accuses Fine Gael TD of 'speaking out of her f***y'". thejournal.ie. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Duffy, Rónán (16 July 2013). "Watch: Norris says he's happy to withdraw words that caused offence". thejournal.ie. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Referendum Commission begins information campaign". RTÉ.ie. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "The Seanad – main changes". referendum2013.ie. Dublin: Referendum Commission. September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Sheehan, Fionnan (16 August 2013). "FF challenged on cost of 'stunt' to recall Seanad". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "S.I. No. 325/2012 - European Union (Quality and Safety of Human Organs intended for Transplantation) Regulations 2012". Irish Statute Book. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "European Communities (Amendment) Act, 1973 Section 1(1)". Irish Statute Book. 4 August 1973. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "European Communities (Amendment) Act, 1995, Section 1". Irish Statute Book. 23 May 1995. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- O'Connell, Hugh (8 June 2013). "Government indicates Seanad will be reformed if abolition is rejected". thejournal.ie. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Brennan, Michael (1 September 2013). "Bruton insists that leaving Seanad in place is easy option". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
Voters in the October 4 referendum will only be asked if they wish to retain or abolish the Seanad – the question of reform will not be on the ballot paper.
- Sheahan, Fionnan; Ralph Riegel (20 August 2013). "McDowell must make his mind up on new party, says former PD colleague". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
The group also warned that the failure to include a critical third 'reform option' on the ballot represents a major strategic mistake.
- "Leaders' Questions (Continued)". Dáil debates. 18 September 2013. p. 14. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- O'Regan, Michael (19 September 2013). "Kenny defends refusal to debate Seanad abolition on television with Martin". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- Sheahan, Fionnan (23 September 2013). "Bruton: no plans for reform of House if vote is lost". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- "Seanad Referendum". Dáil debates. 24 September 2013. pp. 21–26. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Gallagher, Páraic (24 September 2013). "Kenny & Martin finally take part in 'TV' debate on Seanad". Newstalk. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- O'Hora, Ailish (28 September 2013). "Taoiseach Enda Kenny rules out RTÉ debate on Seanad". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Bruton to take part in TV debate on Seanad abolition referendum". RTÉ. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "AS IT HAPPENED: Prime Time Seanad debate". The Journal. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- "Bruton and Martin debate abolition of the Seanad". RTÉ News. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- Reilly, Jerome; Daniel McConnell and John Drennan (29 September 2013). "Enda spared from Croke Park booing". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- McGee, Harry (5 September 2013). "Ground may be shifting in debate on future of Seanad". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- McConnell, Daniel (28 September 2013). "Poll: Clear majority in favour of abolishing Seanad". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- O'Brien, Stephen (21 September 2013). "Tweet 381465364804427776". Twitter. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "New poll suggests Labour Party experiencing an increase in support". RTÉ.ie. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- McShane, Ian (September 2013). "J.4769: Sunday Times Opinion Poll" (PDF). Behaviour & Attitudes. pp. 3, 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Sunday Business Post/Red C poll shows drop in support for both Government parties". RTÉ.ie. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- "Poll shows fall in support for Seanad abolition". RTÉ.ie. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "Majority of voters want Seanad abolished – poll". Irish Times. 15 June 2013.
- "Poll shows 52% favour Seanad abolition". RTÉ News. 13 June 2013.
- O'Connell, Hugh (26 November 2012). "Voters want to scrap Seanad, give diaspora the vote and review Constitution". thejournal.ie. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- McConnell, Daniel (1 September 2013). "Poll shows increase in support for abolishing Seanad". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- Drennan, John (18 August 2013). "Kenny faces defeat on Seanad abolition". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- McConnell, Daniel (18 August 2013). "FG and FF neck and neck in poll". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
The face-to-face poll of 985 adults was conducted at 66 sampling points across Ireland between August 3 and August12.
- "Poll suggests Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin support up but fall in backing for Fine Gael, Labour and Seanad abolition". RTÉ News. 7 July 2013.
- Moran, Paul (30 December 2012). "Clear winners and losers in the Cabinet battle for poll position - Independent.ie". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- Sheahan, Fionnan (24 June 2011). "Public not convinced Seanad worth keeping". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- Carty, Ed (2 October 2013). "Polling cards to dead error corrected". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Referendum Results 1937–2015" (PDF). Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 23 August 2016. p. 89. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- "Seanad Results". The Irish Times. 5 October 2013.
- Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013 Oireachtas
- "The Seanad – main changes". referendum2013.ie. Dublin: Referendum Commission. September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Referendum Returning Officer official results of the referendum counts as they become available
- tags "seanad-abolition" "seanad-referendum" at thejournal.ie
- tag seanad referendum at Newstalk
- Referendum 2013 The Irish Times
- 32nd Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013 tag of posts at merrionstreet.ie, Irish Government website
- Democracy Matters (no-vote)
- One House (yes-vote)
- History & Policy: Seanad Special History Hub, School of History and Archives, University College Dublin